Initially I was Sneezy and Grumpy. I took my Doc’s advice and was Dopey and Sleepy. What I really want it to be Happy. Heck, I’d even been glad to be Bashful.
Today is a good day. My sinuses are feeling a little relief. It’s dark, it’s a little chilly (I’m still wearing shorts and a t-shirt) and it looks like rain is on the horizon once again.
My nose, on the other hand (or would it be other face, hmm) is red, raw, and sore. My ears hurt from all the nose blowing. The residual headache is a bother, but hey, I’ll get over that. At least I don’t have a leaky nose. Well, not as much as it was.
Yesterday I wanted to go see my best friend’s daughter run track. She’s really good at the hurdles even though she’s only just begun. She’s got those crazy long legs. Being that I used to run track, I miss watching all the events. I will make it to at least one of her meets this season.
I also missed my favorite daughter’s volleyball practice. Hearing her talk about it, I missed a good practice. I will be practicing with her later today and a little tomorrow. She’s got a tournament on Sunday and I want her to be prepared. From what she told me, she will be.
I’ve wanted to record. I think I’ll do that tonight or perhaps tomorrow. I need to record the latest episode of Golden West for the Action Pack Podcast. I need to record my story for Tee and Pip. I need to record the promo for the Action Pack. Unfortunately with my head as congested as it is (was) it just wasn’t going to happen. Even though I had an awesomely low voice because of all the snoring I’ve done the past couple of days, I couldn’t make it though more than a few words without coughing. That would have been an editing nightmare.
On the plus side, I knocked out 2500 words yesterday. Most of that in My Teacher is a Werewolf. This will be the next story in the Teacher series. I need to come up with a good title for the series. Something like Unnatural Teachings or something like that. I’ll give it more thought. I plan on doing more of these stories. Why? Because they’re fun to write and I can get into the story quickly. This one might be a little longer than the first, but hey, I’m good with longer. I already like where the story is going and I’m confident I’ll plow through the first draft quickly.
If I’m lucky, I’m past that little sticking point. I didn’t like struggling to write words. I still wrote every day and I know why some people might not write while sick or when they don’t feel well. But I’m happy I did it. I worked through a difficult time and I have more words. Even if some days it was only a slight amount, it was still words I didn’t have before.
Speaking of words, I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo. That should be no surprise. But I found something called JuNoWriMo. It’s basically NaNoWriMo in June. I’ll do both this year. My goal right now is to work on Of Gnomes and Dwarves book 1 in June, edit it in July, and work on Book 2 in November, and edit it in December. Then I’ll release those in 2013. Possibly sooner depending on how I feel about where the stories are at. Each book currently is at around 60,000 words. Both I wrote very quickly on the first draft so I’ll use those plot outlines as a guide, but I’m going to completely re-write them both.
These were the first two books I’d ever written and they’re rough. Very rough. But when I’d written them I had a vision of where I wanted to go and I did just that. I will revisit the universe and this time I’ll keep a character list as I go as those books have a lot of characters and I’m sure I’ll get lost if I don’t keep track. Even typing up this paragraph I’m remembering how much fun it was to write those stories. Maybe I won’t wait for June. J
There’s a lot of writing still to come this year. I’d better get on it. So…
Last night the Action Pack Podcast went live. The three of us involved with this endeavor are quite excited. The concept is serialized fiction spread out over a year. Each story will end on a cliffhanger and a new episode will come out each month. There will also be print editions available over at Flying Island Press. You can pick up the podcast at Action Pack Podcast. Stop by and let me know what you think.
My fellow authors, Mike Plested and Scott Roche, are also helping generate noise (buzz?) about the podcast. Stop on over at their sites and see what they’re all about. All three of us are quite busy podcasters and writers. Don’t forget to check out Dan Dan the Art Man, the man responsible for our artwork!
As for writing, it was another productive day. Got another 2000 words out. It nice when I hit a flow and can roll with it. Hopefully I can keep this pace up during Lent and carry it on beyond. I’m already 4 days ahead of my yearly writing schedule. This is important because the last thing I want to do is fall behind again. I was able to get caught up and now ahead. I see no reason to stop now.
I finished a short story and sat on it for a couple of days. I had three or four ‘ah-ha’ moments and those went into the revisions. I’m now waiting for a response and requested edits (edits will always be requested, I’d be surprised if they weren’t). I’m quite happy with how the story turned out. I can’t want to see how it does once it makes it out into the wild.
Now more about how I got to where I am today.
After spending nearly five years as a starving musician, I decided that being in a band just wasn’t in the cards. It was a good run, but unfortunately I could not motivate the guys beyond small clubs and it was all on my to do any promotion, book gigs, etc. Combine that with the lead singer wanting to be the only creative force in the band, and I felt stifled. I had creative ideas that I needed to get out.
I did not explain this in earlier updates, but this was when I really had to take a look at what I wanted to do with my life. In high school, I played D&D. Sean and I both played and continued to play as adults. I loved the game. I had decided to write a book based on our characters. Yes, one of ‘those’ books. There were many stops and starts during high school, in the Navy, even while I was in a band. I just could not get the story going.
After leaving the band, I had a great idea for the story. Yes, the characters were still based on the D&D characters, but everything D&D was out of it. Well, to some extent. There were still monsters and random encounters, but I had decided to make it more of a story and less of an adventure. I had to get them to meet in a way that made sense. I had to have a story that I could tell.
Well, suffice to say it sucked. I trashed it again.
Then I met a comic book artist. He was just getting started and he was GREAT! I had gone back to school at ITT Tech to get a degree and I wrote pages at night. He agreed to pencil the work. I got cranking on the script. I was excited. I was going to write a COMIC BOOK! WOO WOO!
The guy was really good. He went on to write Warrior Nun Arela, moved on to be an intern with Jim Lee (I got to go to the studio and meet his entire crew, that was awesome) and eventually moved on to Marvel and last I heard he was doing Catwoman for DC. He’s done well and I’m glad he did. I don’t know that doing a little independent comic with me would have helped him that much. Check out Pete Woods as he’s done great things in the field of comics.
So after this period of time, I kept on writing Of Gnomes and Dwarves as a comic. I had decided that the first run would be 15 issues telling one storyline and then I’d move on to the next storyline. I wrote 48 or 49 issues before i ran out of steam and could not find another artist. I tried submitting my work, but it was rough and I go no interest.
I dove back into school. It was very easy for me because it was basically a rehash of my Navy ‘C’ school. Getting ‘A’s was as easy as staying awake in class. My comic had been shelved, but I was still happy to talk about it to anyone and everyone who would hear about it. They all thought I was nuts, but that it was cool that I’d written something even if it wasn’t published.
I got to work on 8080s and 8088s and we even upgraded an 8088 to a 286. This was at a time when a 386 was cutting edge. If you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry. These were IBM computers and the PC was just starting to take hold. It was before the computer explosion of the mid-90s. These things weren’t cheap, but they were getting there.
Then I met the woman who would become my wife. More on that, tomorrow.
There is a slight delay with getting the music for the Action Pack Podcast. Those responsible have been sacked. We have replaced the music you would have heard with the sounds of llamas grazing on the open plains.
But seriously, the person I had asked to do the music has been overly busy and I completely understand. I will be putting in temporary music until such a time as we get official music. This will not delay the release of the podcast. The first episode will have slightly different music to those first downloaders.
Yesterday I intended to write 2000 words and I did. I struggled for the last few words and it was like pulling teeth as I had a small headache, I was tired, and I just wasn’t feeling it as much, but I worked through and I re-read it this morning. It’s still good. Needs a little spit and polish, but I’m liking it. I should be able to finish up that story today. My goal for Lent is to not only cut out my massive sugar intake, but to also write 2000 words a day. Beyond that I also intend to work on fiction every day during Lent as well. Some days so far this year I had only written blog posts so I was hitting my goal, but I wasn’t creating new fiction.
So if I stick to my goal, the next 40 days will bring 80,000 words and most of that will be new fiction as I’ll be typing up shorter blog posts.
One thing I did was re-do my word count spread sheet. I’m a geek, what can I say? I love to mess around with spread sheets. I’ve added some color coding so I can see where I have a bad day, where I have a good day, and where I have a day I expect. I also added a graph.
But all of that was procrastination because I wasn’t “feeling it”. This is something I’ve had to overcome and realize that even if I’m not “feeling it” I still need to write. Once I got going it flowed a little better until it got closer and closer to 10PM (my bedtime) and I felt like I was just trying to get any words out. Hopefully today will be different.
Well, I’ll be taking a break in the middle of the day as I have a release for work tonight so I’ll try and get my 2000 words written during that time so I’ll be ready for tonight’s release.
Speaking of tonight’s release…
Shin Splints: The front of my legs still hurts after I exert myself doing activities such as helping out at volleyball, wandering around the grocery store, helping out at volleyball, walking to my truck too quickly (I park in the street away from the living quarters), helping out at volleyball, going up and down the stairs too many times, helping out at volleyball. The plus side is it only hurts for a short time afterwards and not into the day after like it had been. This is making me happy though I’m not ready to try out my ‘land legs’ any time soon. I still have yet to get up to the gym at our complex, but I intend to start going very soon. Hopefully this weekend.
Sputtery Truck: The check engine light is still on. The registration is due, but I don’t have to smog it this year. I know why the light is on and it’s nothing critical that cannot wait at this point. I’m happy that each time I go out I can start it up and it doesn’t look like Spy Hunter with a billowing cloud of smoke pouring out the back end. This was usually followed up with it overheating and that hasn’t happened either. I’ve kept an eye on the fluid levels and all looks good. It’s on the road to recovery.
Action Pack: Currently I have Mike Plested’s audio. I’m waiting on Scott Roche’s and I need to record my own. I’ll be recording the promo as soon as I get the audio from Mike. We have the cover art for the ebook edition of the stories that will be available at Flying Island Press. I’m waiting on my friend who shall be known as Mike Lafayette to produce music for me. He will be out after the 25th and assures me that I’ll have music before then. This will be just in time to drop the first episode on the 29th. Nothing like cutting it close, eh?
Writing: I’ve been going at it slower than I’d like, but I am catching up to my annual goal. At one point I was 5000 words behind. I’m now less than 3000 and gaining ground with every word I type. I’m having fun with both my research and my writing. If I wasn’t having fun, I’d be putting projects aside. It’s great to see my word counts going up.
Getting Caught up with Friends: I hadn’t spoken with Kimi Alexandre or Jack Mangan in some time. Sure we’ve exchanged emails, but it’s nice to get on skype and just chat with online friends that you don’t get face time with. Online chatting will keep you caught up with some goings on, but there’s nothing like hearing another person’s voice to get caught up on everything.
My Favorite Daughter: If you haven’t guessed, it’s been a lot of volleyball. I’ve been helping out at practices and it’s really great to see how the team is starting to really mesh and play as a unit as opposed to individuals. All I can say is my kid rocks 🙂 but I may be biased.
Jack Kane: Edits are progressing on book 1 and plotting is progressing on book 2. Mike and I have been using Google Docs crazy and the more I use it, the more I like it. I’m sure there are a lot more features in there that we aren’t using, and as we find them, we’ll use them.
Scriviner: I’ve been using scriviner to edit Jack Kane. I’m really liking the interface and I can see now why so many writers rave about it. As soon as I’m able I’ll be buying a license for it and I’ll be moving all my works into the tools. I’ll also use any notes I put into scriviner up onto the wiki page I created and am currently not using. I do have every intention of getting everything up and in there.
MixZing: I’m still liking this music app on my tablet. I haven’t run into any issues and the ads only come up when I open the app and I can live with that. I have the widget on my homescreen and it works great for a shuffle and for playing entire albums. So far, no complaints other than the EQ will cause the tablet to lock up so I just don’t use it.
Work: Work is going GREAT! Frickin love my job. I’ve been doing a big mix of paperwork and documentation and a little bit of coding and I think this is what’s been slowing down my daily writing output, but the job does come first. It’s been a great start to the year with only a couple of unexpected bumps along the way, but nothing we can’t get past.
Sorry this is such a long post today.
I now have two secret projects I cannot talk about yet. There is a lot going on behind the scenes that once I can talk about them, you’ll be just as excited as I am about them. Even though I won’t always post about everything I’m doing (or I’ll repeat myself from time to time) doesn’t mean new things aren’t happening.
Writing: Didn’t happen much last night. Okay, happened very little in fact. I intend to correct that tonight. My favorite daughter had volleyball practice last night so that ate into my writing time. I also spent some time with the wife because it was, after all, Valentine’s. The rest of my writing time was eaten up by discussing a certain project that will come to light in the near future.
Action Pack: Mike Plested has written up the promo. Now it’s just a matter of recording and producing it. All three of us will have parts and from the initial ideas we had, it’s going to be awesome. Heck, from what I’ve read from the other two stories, the entire Action Pack will be filled with awesome! I hope you’ll be there to join us. I’ve been bugging Dan Dan the Art Man and he assures me I’ll have my cover graphic tonight. I should have my page up over on the web site tomorrow.
More Writing: I’m going to try for a few days in a row of 2000 words of fiction. Why? I need to get caught up and/or ahead of my writing goal and I have a couple very hot projects that I need to get under way. I’ve been way too lax with my writing (in my own opinion) and even though I’ve been blogging daily, I haven’t been writing fiction daily. I need to correct that.
Jack Kane: Edits are under way and plotting of the second book are also under way. This is a fun story and the sequel is mapping out to also be a lot of fun to write. Jack, Betsy, Felonious and his minions, are all great characters and just easy to write. Mike Plested and I are having too much fun and I can’t wait until this falls into the hands of readers.
Distractions: I’ve been distracted by Ancient Aliens and not because I subscribe to their belief, but because I find their point of view fascinating. It doesn’t matter what you believe in, it’s easy to poke holes in any theory, faith, belief. I never try to argue with what another person believes because faith and belief are personal. I just like to observe and from that observation, a billion story ideas come bursting forth. *note, I used to argue with people’s faith but once someone says “I believe…” the argument is over because facts no longer play a part in the argument. #justsaying. I find it best to listen, insert comments, and avoid confrontation. It never ends pretty.
More Distractions: I’m not a big TV watcher. There are a few shows I love. Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men (not so much with the loss of Charlie), Gold Rush (what? You’re not watching this show?), Storage Wars, Shipping Wars, and that’s about it. I’m not big on any on going series and will usually pick up a show once it’s run its life. Like the aforementioned Ancient Aliens. I used to watch any Sci Fi shows on TV, but got frustrated with half a season or one open ended season and then nothing. So I stopped putting effort into anything else TV has to offer. For now, I’m directing that energy back into writing.
Speaking of writing.
To those that know me online, I’m J.R. Murdock. To those that know me in the real world, I’m Jay. I’m not Jake though I’ve been called James, Jim, Jake, John, Jason… Think of a name that starts with J and I’ve been called it.
Does it surprise me when people get my name confused? No. People get used to hearing a full name and when they get one letter, it’s easy to extrapolate and add on letters you think you heard that aren’t really there.
What’s funny is when someone is on a podcast talking about you and they start calling you someone else’s name, then asks you about it after the fact. It’s even funnier when you’re working on a colaborative effort with someone for a few weeks.
Yes, my good friend Scott Roche was on the Dead Robots Society podcast and… well, let’s just say I’m not Jake. He got a little confused and mixed me up with Jake Bible (a fellow author and worth your time to read). Hop on over to the DRS Podcast (not always work safe) and check it out. Scott had some great things to say and he’s doing 52 weeks of Indie where he’s giving away a book a week and one winner will ‘win them all’.
Got a lot of writing done yesterday. I’m not quite on track with my yearly writing goal, but I’m getting caught up. One of the things I forgot about when writing a lot is that I come up with more ideas than I can possibly write. I have another fun idea and should I find the time I’ll start getting it out there. I know I have a lot of projects, but this one could be fun to work in there.
Speaking of getting it out there. I’m slow. I know this. Kance Encounter is coming. My favorite daughter has practice again tonight and I’ll be working on that while I wait for her. Got edits back from Scott and Mike on my Action Pack Story now title Golden West. As soon as I have the cover art in my hot little hands from Dan Dan the Art Man I’ll get my page up over there. The podcast is coming together nicely and it’s interesting working on a collaborative effort in this manner. I’m not working alone on two of my multiple projects which is making keeping on track a little easier.
Speaking of making it easier…
I’ve written daily for some time and I’ve continued to watch the number of subscribers to this blog drop. Am I annoying? Should I keep going? Should I stop questioning myself and just keep at it? Should I stop asking questions I don’t have the answer to? Are my dogs trying to communicate with me at a subconscious level I don’t yet understand?
I’ve read Scott Roche’s story for the Action Pack Podcast. I can’t wait to get the audio. It’s gonna be fun. I haven’t listened to Mike Plested’s audio yet, but I will be doing that tonight. At some point during the week I’ll be recording my audio. Then I’ll be bugging another friend of mine about the rest of the music so I can get the podcast assembled.
Then I need to write a piece for Dan Dan the Art Man (I haven’t forgotten about that). I also need to write my piece for my secret project. My Teacher is a Zombie is coming along nicely. Had fun writing last night’s scene and the next scenes will be loads of fun to do. I also need to get working on Second Kance. I need to do edits, I need to write. I need to get off my duff, don’t I?
Yes, yes I do. I wrote a couple thousand words last night. I’ll be doing another couple thousand tonight. I should be able to get myself back on track with my overall writing goal for the year and for this month. I just need to keep hitting keys on the keyboard in the right order and I’ll get there. It’s a magical feeling seeing some of my writing projects take shape.
Tonight my favorite daughter has a voluntary practice. I’ll go and I’ll write in the truck during the first half and go in for the second half. When I’m actually sitting and writing I can get out over 1000 words an hour. It’s just a matter of sitting and actually typing out the words.
I just realized that I hadn’t put out an Unorthodox Writing Tips. I’ll get that out tonight as well. I guess with so much writing to actually get done, I should get on some of it, eh?
So my favorite daughter had another volleyball tournament this weekend. I’m the type of father that can’t sit down while watching and I think it’s harder on me than it is on the girls sometimes. I watch them play and each point for the other team just kills me and each point they get elates me. It’s an emotional roller coaster that wears me out.
Normally they play three other teams So it’s three games and done. Well, this time they had four other teams to play. I looked at this both ways. 1) it’s more games to lose and 2) it’s a better chance for them to win.
The first match they won the first game. It was tight, but they won. They lost he second game almost as close and then lost the tie breaker. The bright side was it was their first win! So much excitement. Well, by the parents anyway.
The second match almost went the same way except they lost the first game, won the second, they WON the tie breaker! They were 1 and 1. WOO WOO! Much excitement was had by all.
The third match was against the #1 seed in their group of five and it went as expected. they lost both games, but had a great showing and performed well.
The last match was against the bottom seed and the game went as expected. They won both games but they were a little closer than we would have liked.
So they ended the day 2 wins – 2 loses and played 2 tie breakers. They did great and I couldn’t be happier. It’s all coming together. By the end of the season the team will be a force to be reckoned with.
Writing. I’m getting on that as soon as this post is up. Mike Plested and I have continued plotting Jack Kane Book 2 (title coming soon). I’m cranking out words on My Teacher is a Zombie. Then it’s on to my secret project that I will announce as soon as I’m able. Finally I’ll be working on edits on Jack Kane Book 1 and Second Kance. It’s a busy month and I still need to get working on my audio for the Action Pack podcast and getting it all produced and ready to go.
So rather than blather on and on…
So I’ve been a writing fool the past couple of days. I’ve been watching my word count go up quickly and it was making me very happy. I keep everything in a spread sheet with formulas and totals for days/weeks/months/etc. I’ve got a graph to show how the work is going daily and all that. Looking at the report makes me happy because I can see where my word count is going.
Then I noticed an error. Thankfully I found it only 10 days into February. It kinda took me back when I found it and it made me sad for a moment, but i quickly got over it.
According to my word count I was about 3000-4000 words ahead of schedule for my annual word count goal. Well, this mistake was adding February’s word counts to January’s word counts and padded my numbers. A lot. After fixing the formula my word count dropped by 10,000 words (thereabout). That was quite a goal, but I’m only a couple thousand behind now and I can write to get caught up. I don’t have the padding I did, but I have a lot of words I need to write so getting caught up won’t be as difficult as it could be. It just means I need to write a little extra each day and actually get back to writing daily without fail.
Okay, got that out of my system.
Kance Encounter was suppose to be released at the end of January. Sorry it’s late. I will be putting it out soon and I’m already working on the sequel. Both will be coming out this month so keep an eye out for them. I just got the edits back (email failed me and it had gotten lost the first time). Now that I have those I’ll be going through Kance Encounter and getting it out as soon as possible.
The Action Pack Podcast is on track. I should be getting audio from Mike Plested and Scott Roche over the weekend. I’ll be recording and bugging my friend for the musical parts once again. We’re hoping to get a promo ready (Mike is writing that up) and I’ll be writing up the intro to the actual podcast. Since we all have these HUGE egos, we decided not to pick which will go first and instead we’ll rotate which story goes first and we’ll also rotate introductory duties. Next week should see some updates to the Action Pack Podcast website. Keep an eye out for that.
I’ve gotten a writing assignment. Research has been accomplished. I will be getting my rear in gear and knocking out some words. Once I can announce more about this work, I shall. Stay Tuned.
Speaking of writing, I’ve got much work to do before I can start putting words down. So…
Total words for Jan 2012 – 36176
Blog words – 18149
Fiction words – 18027
Did I write as much as I had hoped? No.
Did I walk as much as I had hoped? No.
I know I’m capable of more and I’m capable of better. I did get a couple good shorts off and submitted. I hope to get another submission off this month. I also published a couple free short stories. Kance Encounter has a minor issue that one I get fixed I will post. That will be later this week. If you’re looking for free fiction, check out Don’t Use the Phone to tide you over until Kance Encounter is out. Don’t Use the Phone does have a slight Christian tone, but don’t be afraid. It’s not heavy handed in any way.
As for walking, I’d chronicled that pretty well. My shins are feeling better, but I don’t think I’ll be running any time soon. If I do it’ll be on the track at my favorite daughter’s school. It’s one of those rubberized tracks and is real nice on the legs. I will, however, begin other cardio training as the complex we live in does have a gym on site. I’ve been doing light weight training in the interim.
As you noticed I have managed to blog daily. I’ll be keeping that up as it is helping when I do sit and write. I love to type so this is always good exercise. It also helps me keep everything clear in my head from day to day. I do need to start making note of when I have ideas for a given blog post. I’ve had some ideas, but they slip by and I don’t post them. February will see some more stories vs day-to-day issues.
The chronicle of Sputtery Truck is still on going. I hope to have it back today. It was supposed to be done yesterday, but replacing an engine isn’t a quick or easy process. I’m not surprised. What will surprise me? Getting my truck back in running order. This has had me very stressed in not having my vehicle and worrying about the money I’m putting into it. I know it’ll all work out, but I can’t help but worry. Look for a happy tweet later this afternoon.
I’m still waiting and waiting really sucks. It’s also got me on pins and needles. I have 6 books with a publisher. Hopefully something catches his eye. I know I need to be patient and publishers are busy, busy people. So I wait.
I’ve also got a couple of short stories out there. Anxious to hear about those as well. While I wait I think I’ll work on another short story and get back into my longer works. I need to write Second Kance for the end of this month. It’ll be a new story, but continue the threads built in Kance Encounter. Each will be self contained with an over arcing thread. Can’t wait to dig into the next story. It’s been in my head for years.
I also need to record my Action Pack story and get that ready for production as well as write the next 4000-5000 words. I also need to come up with a better title. I like Gold Rush, but the date of the story is after the Gold Rush so the title doesn’t make sense. Either way, it’s a fun story so far and I hope it continues to be.
There are a lot of things in the works. I need to get going on them so I don’t let myself get behind. If you set goals for January, how did you do? Are you on track? Are you falling behind? Do you need some motivation? Let me know. I’d love to hear from you.